Tobu where development lost its way
S Henlly Phom
MON, MARCH 17
WITH no proper electricity and water supply, the life in Tobu is timed with each day’s sunrise and sunset. The hope people have been holding out for an improvement in the situation for over a year. The wait has been so long that many of the people have resigned themselves to their fate, while others are still trying to accustom their lifestyle to the revolution of the earth around the sun in the 21st century. On the tenth day of the “Advocacy Tour” organised by the Eastern Naga Students’ Federation (ENSF) in the four eastern Nagaland districts , the condition in 15 villages under Tobu area smacked of neglect but the greater unfolding tragedy was the quiet resignation of the villagers to their fate. Besides the problem of electricity issues of inadequate health care and education system. Here too, as in the previous villages visited in Longching areas a shortage of teachers and poor infrastructure and ignorance of the Right to Education (RTE) Act is nakedly visible. The Government High School Tobu established in 1965 is in a shocking state of disrepair and should be declared unfit for occupation leave alone allowing for children to attend classes under the existing condition. The decaying state of the school is further compounded by Tobu Area Students’ Union (TASU) informing Eastern Mirror that the school was functioning without a Headmaster and Assistant Head Master (AHM). The previous Headmaster who retired some years ago has not been replaced and the present AHM is being paid a salary but not carrying out his responsibilities.
Likewise the picture of the health care system is not a pretty one. A doctor stationed at the Tobu CHC talking to ENSF Officials and Eastern Mirror stated that according to guidelines, CHC should have at least 7 doctors, around 30 nurse and 30 beds. But Tobu CHC functions with one doctor, 8 nurses and 12 beds. Even the ambulance which is supposed to be maintained by the concerned department is not maintained. He along with the folks of Tobu lamented that as a human being it is difficult to be round the clock in service. Basic equipments required in the process of treatments were also not available. But the main concern was the shortage of power supply. Adding salt to injury villagers here lament that expired medicines are also being sold.
The mismanagement of centrally sponsored schemes echoes across the hills in this part of Nagaland. In yet another disclosure by Tobu area’s 15 villages, it was informed that under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Act (MGNREGA), Indira Awas Yojna (IAY) and Backward Region Grant Fund (BRGF) they were receiving CGI Sheets instead of cash against the guideline under this scheme. Moreover under the MGNREGA scheme where 50% of the share is for VIP’s, they said that even the daily wages were not disseminated judiciously. So they were of the opinion that 100% of the wages should be for general public since even the 50% meant for them was being misappropriated. For now the faith of the people in this area is on the sole doctor serving the people.